tv Trafficked Slavery in America MSNBC December 22, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
across the globe for those living below the poverty line, america symbolizes the land of hope, of economic promise. for over 500,000 men, women and children seeking to improve their lives, life in the u.s. means something else. >> i feel like a slave. >> i don't have money or passport. >> forced to becoming workers or sex slaves selling their bodies. >> trapped this the land of the free with no way out. >> human trafficking is real.
>> you are under arrest for prostitution. >> we have seen anyone as young as 7 or as old as 75 years old. >> relying on the kind canness of strangers to free them from captivity. >> this is something i would never expect here. >> open the door. sheriffs office. open the door. >> while devoted public servants do their best to fight those who prey on the vulnerable. >> it is nothing but modern day slavery. >> msnbc presents "trafficked, slavery in america." it is a growing menace
sustained by america's need for cheap labor and underground sex. tonight, msnbc returns to houston where one third of all illegal immigrants enter the country. this time the human merchandise is different than what we last found here. not women from latin america, but young women from asia, traffic and trapped in to selling their bodies and dignity for cash. for those who find it hard to believe that sex slavery is alive and well in modern america, harris county's human trafficking task force invites nonbelievers to ride along for the day in the life. >> houston is a hub. >> bruce carr has a federally funded human trafficking task force for texas. >> we have a big problem in the houston area with a lot of spas popping up in the outlining areas of the county. >> we will work off of case 15847. >> the mission, root out
traffickers hiding behind massage parlors and spas. >> we will go to the v.i.p. spa. >> one of the 500 spas that have been illegally trafficked from asia. >> these are the advertisements they are advertising here. talking about sexy asian girl s and then saying open steven days a week, 24 howevers and explicit pictures. >> the traffickers who own and operate the spa s do little to hide the fact there is sex for sale. page through dozens of on-line sites and buyers can hand pick the type of girl they want down to her ethnicity and breaux side. today's target is a location where in the past federal officers have rescued trafficked women. but after shutting it down, it has reopened under new ownership. this brings investigators back for another look. >> we will be going out to this location to do a raid on the spa. get the girl hopefully.
interview other girls, take that information back as well as make the arrest and hopefully secure other evidence inside of that business to indicate prostitution. >> reporter: the team heads out, hoping to make a dent in a criminal operation that is proven especially difficult to stop. >> seems like you knock one down and ten more pop up. >> with seemingly insatiable demand for easy sex bringing loads of cash to the underground sex industry, carr says police face a never-ending battle. one with high stakes and real human costs. >> it's not a victimless crime. i don't know any female that woke up one day and said i am going to be a prostitute today. some pimp is making a ton of money off of the services of this poor girl. >> the girl rendezvous in an alley near a spa to suit up. takedown officers hide their
faces with a ski mask so they aren't recognized when they come back to do under cover work. they will send in three undercover officers before sgland we will send undercover deputies in there, posing as customers to confirm the the allegation that prostitution is occurring and do a raid shortly thereafter. >> we have surveillance. we will send the first one in. >> reporter: as the takedown team gets in to position, it becomes clear that business is booming at v.i.p. >> another customer just walked in. >> man, there are a lot of customers going in. >> the under cover officers don't want to raise suspicions of the owners so when the takedown happens, they have been instructed to continue acting as if they are regular johns. >> start to move to the back door and let me know when you are ready. >> reporter: after watching a civilian leave officer "x" makes the call to move in.
>> we're across. >> fall in behind them, guys. >> open the door. sheriffs office. open the door. >> go in to the back. go in to the back. >> officer sweep the massage parlor detaining the johns found in rooms. >> all the employees room 7. >> officers corral three scantily clad young women detaining them for questioning. >> she looks young. >> second one. >> i.d.s on these girls and find out where their stuff is at. >> how about you? >> young, scared and foreign. the women pretend they don't understand english. what they don't know is they have been secretly recorded speak ing perfect english when they solicited under cover officers for sex. >> where are you from? >> korea. >> from korea? >> uh-huh. >> our producer happens to speak korean and confirms the young women are here illegally. >> how old are they?
do we know. >> not yet. we haven't i.d.ed them. >> how old are they? >> 30. >> okay. >> yeah. and this one. >> 31. >> there's no way she is 31 years old, ma'am. there's no way. >> how long have they been here? >> i don't know. >> the three working girls keep their heads down and let the older woman who police suspect is the broth le manager do all of the talking. the woman persistently denies being in a position of authority and plays dumb. >> what we usually find is clorox bottles. >> coming up, investigators search and find the physical evidence they need to make a prostitution case at vip. >> this is how they hide used condoms. >> and that's a sure sign it's not just massage going on here. would it surprise you if i told
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harris county human trafficking task force has carefully orchestrated a sting operation at this houston massage parlor renowned for trafficking foreign women. police are now seeking to better understand how the korean women got there. >> how old are you? >> 27. >> 27? >> when initially questioned, all three women say they've only been in the country for a few days. as the team searches the facilities, all the tell-tale signs of trafficking reveal themselves. from the atm in the lobby to the cramped living space filled with mattresses and personal items, investigators have no doubt the owner is exploiting the women by selling sex for cash. >> most of these businesses
soliciting prostitution have living quarters like this in them. you can see their beds here. their suitcase is there. they don't even unpack. they keep their clothes in their suitcases. this is their home while they are here. >> officers say traffickers keep the women as virtual prisoners who must eat, sleep and work within these four walls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. with surveillance monitors and a manager who controls their every move the works are expected to follow a strict prol property cole. >> this is known as a table shower where you pay for the services here and they strip you down. put you on there and do a table shower for you. and usually you will make a deal with the sex right. there sometimes in this room, sometimes in a different room. >> the reason they bring you in here is to separate their clients from their clothes. so they can look for any type of listening devices or check through their wallets to see if
they have any money or are law enforcement of any kind. >> make sure there is nothing in here. >> sometimes they hide unwrapped ron documents in these bath towels. let me check through them just in case. we can use it as evidence. >> those are -- they are not what you think. the individually wrapped ones. they buy them in bulk just like than hide them in any household item you can imagine. that happened to be a coffee mate jar. that was easy to find. if you open up the top it looks like coffee mate and you can see the powder but it has a false bochlt actually it is a screw on bochlt as you can see. >> how long have you been here? >> i don't understand. >> typically we try to interview the girls. they deny they can't speak english. however, just 20 minutes ago or the day before i had people come in and speak to them in english.
it is common for them to be uncooperative at first. >> this young woman says she's only been in houston three days. >> i'm 33. >> only three days. >> yes. >> at first while the mama san is talking she refuses to talk but then confides to our produce she doesn't want to do this kind of work and wants to go home to korea. >> does she have a passport or anything. >> at home. >> green card. >> your green card. >> are you a resident? >> yeah with. green card. >> this woman insists she left her visa at home in california and denis selling sex for cash. but they find evidence to the contrary. >> once i open up the lid, i found used ron documents inside. i cut it open to show you this is how they hide used condoms? that's a sure sign that is not just massage going on in here.
>> when confronted with the evidence of hundreds of used condoms we tried to get straightforward answers. >> would it surprise you if i told you there was prostitution going on here. >> i don't know. >> would it surprise you? >> i don't know. >> what about the condoms we found? >> i don't know. >> they were in the laundry area, in a clorox bottle. >> there was no bleach, just used condoms. >> i don't know. >> but you are doing the laundry, right? >> do you use the bleach. >> i do use bleach. >> ah, that's the bleach that you use. there are people who say you are the person that's running this massage parlor. >> who would say that i don't know? >> msnbc learned this self-proclaimed housekeeper is no stranger to police. in 2005, local and federal officers raided a california spa she owned where korean girls
were selling sex for cash. young women just like these. >> do you sleep here? >> this girl approached two under cover officers today and will most likely be charged with prostitution. what's your name how long have you been here. >> three days. >> three days. >> yes. >> where did you come from? >> from l.a. >> from l.a. >> yeah. >> she says she's from korea. that's what she told me. she said she's been here three days and she came from l.a. >> her immigration status will have to be checked. >> does she have a green card? >> no. it's just a passport. she travels a lot. >> meanwhile officers search her purse for the money the under covers gave her today. >> two, four, six, eight, 500. >> they find $907. >> you are under arrest for prostitution. do you understand what i am
saying. >> the team has what they need to charge her with prostitution. they hope by booking her, interviewing her away from the mamasan they may learn valuable information about the criminal network behind massage parlors and hope her to get out of the life. >> there were three girls working and only wint to jail. the other girls identify just arrived or said they had only been here a few day thes. >> while much of the funding goes to fighting traffickers. there is more insidious slavery. the enslavement of men, women and children as domestic servants or factory workers. >> i feel like a slave. because i don't have money. i don't have my passport and i don't have anybody. my fico® credit score. yup, you get it free each month to help you avoid surprises with your credit. good. i hate surprises. surprise! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you.
>> in the last decade, cash profits from sex trafficking have driven the profliferation of massage parlors in virtually every city in america. but experts say the trafficking of men, women and children for labor is much more common. from indentured servitude in hotels, restaurants and factories, advocates say that modern day slavery is alive and well in even the most affluent of homes. for four long year, a family in suburban san francisco enslaved lily samat, a native of indonesia. >> i feel like a slave because i don't feel money, i don't have a passport, i don't have anybody. if i run away. i say, you know, maybe somebody will kill me. >> in 2002, the family hired lily, then 24 years old to be a nanny. they promised her a steady salary and a nice home. instead, lily say, the demanding diplomat, imprisoned her, abused her and forced her to work 20 hour days, seven days a week for no pay. and where did this modern day slavery take place? in one of the most up scale neighborhoods in the san francisco bay area.
>> i mean, this is something i would never expect here. it's just -- i think it's just preposterous. >> heidi lived just four doors down. she couldn't help but notice the young girl wearing the same threadbare jogging suit every time she saw her. >> the thing that attracted my attention is she was washing the car every day. she came out to wash this car from top to bottom every single day whether it was raining or cold or warm. and we thought, what a strange thing. why would some young girl have to come out and wash a car every single day? >> lily says washing and scrubbing the car at 6:00 a.m. was with only a fraction of her daily responsibilities. every morning began with the care and feeding of twins. a 7-year-old girl and boy who were not 'venn allowed to carry their books to the car. in addition to all of their
household chores, cooking and cleaning, lily's job included carrying the diplomate's briefcase to and from the call and being available at all hours of the night to serve him. >> he was up late at night and asked to make tea at like 1:00. so, i don't know, it is like 24 hours. >> lily says her captors -- started controlling her right away from the moment she first arrived at their house in the middle east. she then was forced to travel with them to the u.s. there she says, they would lock her indoors whenever they would leave the house. >> and even if they are inside the house, they would lock the door and hide the key. >> the problem is huge. >> human trafficking attorney cindy lu says there are thousands of lilys hiding in plain sight in america. >> how do you count a hop lags by its very nature and definition that's hidden from you. >> the organization asian pacific islander legal outreach represents over 200 victims of forced labor trafficking in the
san francisco area. but kourgt to a 2004 report from the u.s. department of justice, an estimated 14 to 17,000 people are trafficked in to the united states every year. making the crime as prevalent as homicide. put to work in popular restaurants, major hotel chains and factories. these silent victims says lu are the human cost of the prices customers pay for food and services in big cities like san francisco. >> we have seen anyone as young as 7 and anyone as old as 75 years old, men and women. we have also seen sex trafficking cases, but also a lot of labor cases involving domestic servitude, hotel and restaurant work. >> reporter: lu says when they are wealthy foreigners or diplomates they have little incentive to respect u.s. laws. exhausted and alone after two years lily worked up the nerve
to speak to a friendly face. heidi, who worked out of her home, would often see lily when she went to pick up the mail. >> once in a while she would be there and see me standing getting my mail and she would come flying over and talk to me. she had this beaming expression on her face as if the were so happy to be talking to another human being. >> reporter: even though lily didn't convey distress, heidi became to have concerns about the welfare of the young woman. >> it was clear to me she did not have much time to chat because she would say, i have to go now. i must go. so she would run back, almost like she was afraid someone would see her. >> reporter: meanwhile, lily began to confide in hide di, one brief conversation at a time. heidi gradually pieced together the ugly, unrelenting reality of
lil ie's life. >> she worked for 18 hours of work, seven days a week. no holidays, no days off. no ability to go anywhere, visit her parents, nothing. and then after a while she told me she was never paid and i thought what a strange thing. >> reporter: for many, it's hard to understand why lily didn't run away but sun di lu says it is important to see the situation from lily's perspective. >> the beginning it doesn't register it is fishy. they think this is normal. this is what's expected. >> reporter: lily had a good experience working as an international nanny. at 15 she left indonesia to live and work for a diplomate in saudi arabia. the family treated her well, paying for her vacation time, taking her with them to europe and teaching her arabic and french. when she receive an offer to work for another diplomate she leaped at the chance.
>> i'm so happy that i heard diplomate. i believe they are nice people. >> this family could not have been more different. after two years, lily persuade her captors to send $1,000 to her family. afraid and isolated she didn't dare ask for more. >> no one wants to take a chance of putting their family at risk. >> they say threats like -- >> we'll hurt your family or report you to the authorities and tell them you are the one doing something wrong. you are here illegally. it's your fault and no ones going to belief you. >> after years of isolation and humiliation, lily was near her breaking point. she began to fear she would spend her whole life enslaved to the diplomate and his family. with no one to help her, she turned to the only friendly face she knew. >> someone knocked at the door.
i opened the door and there was lily. >> i was crying. i said please help me. >> and of course now i realized a.m. what am i going to do with her? what can i do? >> coming up, the good neighbor helps lily find her freedom. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar, but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® is different than pills. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once-a-day, any time, and comes in a pen. and the needle is thin. victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. victoza® is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. victoza® has not been studied with mealtime insulin.
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here's what is happening. snow and ice knocked out power to homes in michigan, new york and new england. six deaths are blamed on the storm which delayed air travel ahead of the christmas holiday. nato service member died in eastern afghanistan today after coming urn direct fire. nato has not released the nationality of the victim. 126 american service members have died in afghanistan this year. more news later. now back to msnbc "under cover." after four years of living the punishing life of a modern day slave in northern california, 24-year-old lily had
lost all hope. working up to 22 hours a day for a demanding diplomate and his family. lily says her employers even made her work when she had debilitating fevers. penniless because the family refused to pay her she lived desperate isolation and growing depression. >> she's my everything. >> back in indonesia, lily's husband andy had heard nothing from his wife for three long years. he feared she was dead. >> who can i call? somebody here. i don't know. because don't have no phonen couldn't give me a number. really hard. no communication with her. >> finally in 2006, lily reached a breaking point. the diplomate's wife who insisted that lily wash the car even in the rain okuzed the
obedient lily of slirk shirking her duties. >> i cleaned the car inside and outside and she said why don't you clean the car. every day you have to clean the car. i was really, really mad. i went to the bathroom and stayed there and said i cannot do it again. if i see heidi i will pack my stuff and leave. >> someone knocked at the door. i opened the door and this was lily. >> i was crying. i said, please help me. >> so i took her in. >> alarmed heidi hid lily in the back of her car under a blanket and took her to the local police. the police directed her to the fbi where lily was identified as a victim of human trafficking. when lily's employer went to police asking them to find her, they refused saying she left voluntarily. panicked about bpg exposed they pressured the indonesian embassy to get lily out of the sglus the diplomate had run to the
indonesian consulate and said, i will pay her what i owe her. here in the consulate on the condition that i see her ticket going back to indonesia and that she does not speak to anyone. so i thought, well, i don't think that's acceptable. that's basically a form of blackmail. >> if you are a diplomate and you do have diplomatic immunity there's very little the u.s. government can do to criminally prosecute you or for us to get form of recovery. >> cindy lu says workers like lily routinely suffer extreme abuse if their employers happen to be a diplomate because special circumstances shield them from prosecution. it is called diplomatic immunity and means high-ranking foreign diplomates who work inside of the united states cannot be arrested or prosecuted for criminal activities. some diplomates have gotten away
with rape and murder in the united states. >> a lot of these diplomates are powerful people in the country they are from. a lot of our clients still have family members in that country. so unless you can secure the safety of those family members first, there's a lot of ma enoughing to be done without just slapping down a criminal case immediately. >> unsure how to proceed, heidi and her family agreed to hide lily. with the diplomate two doors down, heidi lived in constant fear of being discovered by a man they knew would never face charges. >> i was nervous. many nights i lost a lot of sleep. i thought what is going to happen. >> they lived trapped in a spy novel. lily stayed hidden in their upstairs bedroom. occasionally heidi would sneak her out of the house. >> i was frightened they would see her.
so what i used to do is whenever we went from the kitchen to the garage, i would have a coat over myself and she would walk next to me and we would kind of slowly march in to the garage. once in the garage, she would be in the backseat and i would put the coat over her and put some empty shopping bags on top. >> for six months, heidi protected lily while a lawyer friend attempted to recover the $6,000 in back wages that lily had been promised. as a last resort, heidi wrote a strongly worded letter to the embassy where the diplomate worked. >> i sent this letter to the console general and ended up saying the group of concerned citizens would like for you to please take care for this because we do not want this to go in to an international incident or get in to the papers or anything like this.
>> nine months after fleeing her captor, lily received the $6,000 as promised in her original contract. what was the original final cost per hour for her three years labor, 23 cents an hour. in 2009, lily was reunited with her husband andy and had a baby girl in october later that year. >> she support me to get better in life and everything. >> she's really everything to me. without her, i don't know how to do. because she's really understanding and she is really -- i mean she's everything. >> hello. how are you? beautiful baby.
>> today lily is in the u.s. on a legal visa and works as a nanny in san francisco. >> my life now is very happy and i have my baby and my husband is also here. so, it's -- now it's really happy that my life is really changed. >> it is not forever. >> four years. >> while lily's story of modern-day slavery was resolved happily, she says that she represents a tien fi fraction of those who suffered. lu says for every lily there are hundreds of workers trapped in servitude and sex slavery in the u.s. who aren't empowered enough to run and seek help. >> a big problem for a lot of clients, if you are in a country where you feel the laws aren't going to text you will never feel safe. >> inspections, please open the door. >> coming up, san francisco's health department cracks down on human trafficking in the city by the bay.
since twourks san francisco's health department has been in the business on putting sex traffickers, particularly those running illegal massage parlors out of business. one of the lead investigators is ed walsh. >> initially i was kind of naive to some of the stuff that goes on. i had never been to a massage parlor as a customer. never. i knew there was sex going on, but i didn't know how it worked. >> walsh got a quick lesson about six years ago. >> hello, inspections. >> take a look here. >> when we first took over the program, i went in to a facility where there were women sitting on towels on couches.
when i went in to check their i.d.s, i asked why they were sitting on towels and i asked them to get up. when they stood up there was blood on the towels. so they were bleeding from their rectum or vagina. first time i saw anything like that and it was like -- just blew me away. i couldn't believe it. >> dr. johnson oj 0 o heads up the mayor's human trafficking task force. >> it has been effective in reducing the number of illegal massage establishments in san francisco. >> come out here, please. thank you sdplchl we issued 500 citations. >> can i see your i.d., please? thank you. >> fines to the tune of over $100,000 and we have closed about 40 to 50 establishments. today we are going to be going out for an inspection. >> the health department is
backed up by inspectors from the fire department and code enforcement and the city attorney. they are working together to help to build cases against human traffickers and establishments running illegal prostitution parlor gls the girl there is the one that solicited a police officer. >> reporter: the task force has been so successful this of the downtown operators have scattered, choosing to hide behind phony fronts inside of the city's quiet residential neighborhoods. >> if we go late enough at night there's a salon in front. and the salon is used for hair cutting and he closes at 6:00. when the lights get turned off and they are in the back. >> hello. hi. >> hi. >> inspectors. please open the door. >> police. >> hi. you want to put a towel on the customer there? my focus initially is on the
masseuse. i need to i.d. her and find out if she has a license in the room next door, another customer is stunned when the lights come on and more shocked to see our cameras. when the inspectors try to identify the masseuse, the massage parlor manager plays dumb. >> you speak mandarin. tell her i want to give me an i.d. >> she is not work. >> but she was in the room with the customer. >> and the customer had no clothes on. >> oh. >> the partitioner in that room providing massage to a client. we all saw it, but when we ask her for her name she won't tell us. when we asked for i.d., she would not provide it. >> get the customer to talk. excuse me, sir. do you speak mandarin? can you come here for a second,
please? we want her to show us an i.d. [ speaking mandarin ] she forgot it. she has no i.d. with her right now. >> good luck cards. phone number. >> you have a lot of money in here. wow. no i.d. though. >> when she does not have any identification on themselves, that's an indication that somebody is in charge of day-to-day movement. and there's a likelihood that person has been trafficked. >> services of licensed partitioner. i will issue a citation. >> she is working. >> please. >> don't argue with me. don't argue with me. i went in with a police officer
and myself. the man has no clothes on and she's standing over him. so there's no argument there. >> the massage parlor is cited and closed down for the night. >> you can hope. >> okay. >> have a good day. >> and inspectors move down the line to another trouble spot. >> supposedly a john in here. saw somebody walk in. >> we are here to do inspections. >> as soon as we walked in one masseuse got very nervous. how are you? >> good. >> he's a customer. >> so we went in the rooms and saw this gentleman on the table getting ready for a massage. >> sir, are you dressed? >> no. >> why don't you get dressed? >> who has a permit here? who's working here right now. >> this is a customer. >> she knew she didn't have a permit but the person in the room was just here to order food. >> one customer inside. >> you give him massage?
>> no. i take -- >> come from where. >> pack the food. the dinner. >> the person came here to order food. that is the excuse she used. i was like, i don't think so. >> inspectors then notice something strange. the woman is wearing an ear piece and taking instructions on over the phone. >> my owner called the -- >> she is talking to the owner right now. >> you are getting high-tech on us. >> beautiful. >> with the commotion and the presence of cameras it seems the customer has lost his appetite. >> my inspector will issue you a citation because you are doing massage without a license. as we leave here today, i want you to close the doors. you are closed. you understand? you are closed. no business.
>> nobody has a license here. you have to have a license. you have to have a license. you are closed. everybody is ready to go. let's go. the message is you have to follow the law. that's why we are out here tonight. can i see your massage i.d. if you hire them you have to have i.d. >> it was here. i don't know who has taken my i.d. >> not going to tolerate anyone using his or her massage establishments as fronts for prostitutions or human trafficking. we are here to serve the order. >> reporter: after a two-year battle inspectors pull the plug on san francisco's most notorious massage parlors. >> you are supposed to close effective 5:00 p.m. today. good. i hate surprises. surprise!
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>> it's 3:45 in downtown san francisco, and while most city workers are close to ending their work day, health inspector ed walsh is just gearing up nor a much anticipated takedown. >> we're going to the sunflower spa. >> come on out, health department. >> it's the end of a five-year cat and mouse game with a massage parlor offering second for cash, right in the shadow of city hall. >> who is the manager. >> over the last several years with msnbc in tow, in raid after raid, this massage parlor has been cited for numerous violations, where the evidence of sex for sale is obvious. >> this is a house of prostitution. if you're just here for a massage, they don't want you there for a massage. they want the money for the extra service. >> built like a prison fortress and well equipped with hidden
cameras, sunflower's managers keep watch on six monitors. >> they have security over the girls. so they can't leave the facility. they know if they're coming and going. >> year after year, authorities including the fbi receive reports of young foreign women being coerced into selling sex for cash at sunflower. >> there were so many signs of trafficking. living quarters, holes in the walls where women working as massage practitioners were hiding because they didn't have licenses. >> sunflower's biggest cheemt was building secret hiding places to house women. the first was discovered behind a false wall in 2006. >> what is this? >> this is where they were sleeping previously. >> this was a room with a lot of mattresses. personal belongings, shoes. there would be eight to ten people sleeping in that unapproved room. >> after multiple fines,
sunflower finally walled up that living space, but two inspections later, the task force discovered yet another room. >> this is a mirror on the wall. when you open it, you discover there's a hole there. inside there, there's a very tight space. look this. come out. >> the investigation of sunflower went through the looking glass when inspectors found women crammed into a cubby hole behind this wall. >> stay right there. >> this is probably one of the most blatant in the whole list of massage parlors in san francisco. where they just disregard the law and they do not want to comply with the law. they don't care. >> over the year, sunflower spared no legal expense battling the health department and managed to stay open.
>> i don't think they were in violation. >> sunflower was able to hire the best attorneys to refute all our allegations, all our evidence. it took five years to build a big enough case where we thought we could revoke the permit. and every time we had one of these hearings, they provided the best defense they could with the attorneys that they were able to afford. >> but on this day, after numerous appeals, a judge gives the san francisco health department the ruling they always sought. >> ready to go sir? >> for ed walsh, the decision was a long sought victory and validation. >> are you ready? >> oh, yeah, this is it. this is great. they know it's going to happen. because they've been through the process. the final appeal to rehear the case, they got denied. so they know that we're getting ready to close them. >> when the inspectors descend upon sunflower, they find the proprietor reluctant to answer the doorbell. unable to gain entry by way of the front door, inspector walsh
goes around back. >> and as i approached the backdoor, the gentleman who was walking up the stairs here. >> how you doing, snan. >> good, how are you? >> are you coming out this way? can you open it, please? >> he had his shoes in his hands. he's barefooted, walking out of the premises. >> san francisco police, can you open the door, please? >> with walsh now inside, sunflower has no choice but to open up for inspection. >> is there anybody else here today besides you? no girls? no? >> i sold everything. i'm done. >> after a quick search of the premises -- >> you have immigrant girls, there's always going to be little trap door, hiding places. >> including all of the favorite hiding spots. >> there were girls hiding here the last time. there's still shoes here, though. but the hole has been sealed up. >> investigators conclude the massage parlor is deserted. >> we are here to serve the
order indicating that your license has been revoked. >> yeah, but i already sold everything in here for the new person and they do a different type of business. i suppose to be out now, take all my stuff so they can come in and do their own business. >> she said she's already closed. that's the first thing she said. i'm already closed. yeah, there's no massage here. >> how you doing, man? >> when asked about the barefoot man who scrambled out the backdoor, the proprietor told investigators he was her boyfriend. >> and the guy was going out with his shoes in his hands. that shows that there probably were still a lot of activities going on at that location. >> okay, i posted the sign on the front door saying your permit has been revoked. do not remove it. you're supposed to close effective 5:00 p.m. today. no customers. no massage activities. okay? >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i think in the 21st century,
no one should tolerate anybody being used as a sex slave. i will say it to people listening out there that human trafficking is real, and all they need to do is just take one step back. and ask themselves, would they want their daughters to be in that kind of situation? and those that have the ability to stop this should do everything they can. >> for now, the problem of human trafficking in america is a growing one, and the battlefield nationwide involving tens of thousands of victims. many scarred for life. some lost, others dead. each day, law enforcement is winning small victories, closing down the sunflower massage parlor, and the legal battle to win lily's freedom from human servitude. it is victories like these that will help win the war against human trafficking.
you're under arrest for soliciting prostitution. >> even though it is illegal in 50 states -- behind the smiling faces lives shattered souls, helpless and in fear. >> they're dominating entirely. they're treating the women like a piece of furniture. >> don't do it. get out of the car right now. >> are you on probation or